Team Practice Report
There are a lot of things that will be needed to slow down the Atlanta Falcons offense in the NFC Championship Game. The 49er secondary will have their hands full chasing Roddy White and Julio Jones around, but the key match-up is going to be NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis vs. Tony Gonzalez. There is no doubt that Gonzalez is the greatest ever at the tight end position, but this is a match up that San Francisco can win.
After losing last week to the Seattle Seahawks, the San Francisco 49ers failed to lock up the NFC West. The first team goal of 2013 was to win the division, and they can still do so with a win in the season finale against the Arizona Cardinals. Both the offense and defense have struggled for the last game and a half, however it’s the defense that not only needs to play much better, but should also have no problem carrying San Francisco into the playoffs, with momentum at their back.
With quarterback Carson Palmer out for the final game with cracked ribs, competition begins in earnest for the starting quarterback job between backups Matt Leinart and Terrelle Pryor. Indications are that Pryor will get more than three plays, but the bulk of the playing time will go to Leinart. The Raiders were also shut out of the Pro Bowl for the first time since 2003.
The match up to watch on Sunday will be Carlos Rogers vs. Victor Cruz. As with San Francisco and New York both are very talented and have developed a bit of a rivalry since Rogers mocked Cruz’s touchdown celebration. This will mark the 3rd time the two have faced each other with both winning a previous meeting. Whichever player gets the better of their opponent Sunday will give their team a great chance at winning the game.
In less than four days, the Raiders can avenge that loss when they host their rivals from San Diego on Monday Night Football.
Parys Haralson experienced an injury to his left bicep on Monday. The blow came as the 49ers were just days away from facing the Green Bay Packers. Luckily, the team signed Clark Haggan just in time to lift the team’s hopes.